So, the story of this one is we were on vacation and, since one of the odder things we enjoy doing is spending some time in libraries, I was browsing around books. I saw this huge one and was intrigued by the cover. I also remember seeing the TV series advertised during football games and, for some reason, I just figured it was some sort of sports series (they talk about going 'Under the Hood' and it was during a football game...). But when I realized this was more science-fiction-ey, I was intrigued.
The novel started out fine. Some mysterious dome cuts off one Maine town from the rest of the world and as the days drag on, power struggles and seriously unbalanced individuals wreak havoc on the small town. Of course, as a Stephen King novel, lots of people die in gruesome ways. And the only way readers typically care is if you've made the characters likable / knowable in certain ways. Certainly King did this, and some deaths were frustrating. But one point in particular just made me stop caring at all and just rush to finish the book.
A few times it seemed like the "good guys" were going to triumph, and then evil one out. That was starting to get annoying (especially considering, as a "thriller," the book often had me reading lots of pages in short sittings), but I broke in one particular scene.
Spoilers in the rest!
When Andrea seemed ready to triumph in drug-recovery and Junior was going to kill his dad (the worst bad-guy in the story), it looked like we had a turning point. But then she gets killed, junior gets killed (and frames our hero even more), and everything is in chaos, I just stopped caring. Whatever. Our main characters are on the run - ho hum. The bad guy kills more people - meh. A giant explosion somehow ruins the air inside the dome - I don't get the scale if this but, whatever. People are fighting to survive, and some survive miraculously - meh. It seems like the bad guy is going to finally be justly killed, but he squeals out and kills his attacker - no surprise. The bad guy finally dies - I don't care; I've been waiting for this the whole book, and it doesn't matter. A kid and mother die as the last couple dozen survivors are trying to get some small air in the hellstorm? Sad but expected. Even the whole answer about why the dome is there in the first place - we're just ants to some aliens' children's experiment who finally relent when we convince them we're sentient - not because they care or have compassion, but some weird sense of pity - it's terribly anticlimactic but I didn't even care about that. I was just happy that I finished the book.
I'm also happy that I'm not at all interested in watching a 3-season TV show filled with these characters. I think this novel broke any future desire for Stephen King novels I might've still had.